You probably already know what your MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) personality says about your strengths and preferences, particularly if you make it a point to list it on your Tinder profile. But do you know what it says about you as a friend? We got Purpose coach and MBTI trainer Dazzling Chong to share the pros and cons of the type of friend you are, and how can you can make up for the shortfalls.
Pros: Ever the mother hen, you’re always looking out for your friends. And because you’re so sensitive to other people’s emotions and needs, you’d always reach out even before your friends approach you.
Cons: You’re always trying to better yourself, which is not a bad thing. But your friends find you annoying when you try to get them to improve themselves too, and some of them may not be ready for those truth bombs you’re about to drop.
How to make up for it: “The ENFJ’s theme song is ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’,” quips Dazzling. It’s natural for you to want to help someone else out, even if they didn’t ask for it, but it would be good to hold back some of the feels. “Rest assured that your friends will still love you even if you pull back a little bit.”
Pros: If you’re in Star Wars, you’d be Obi-Wan Kenobi. If you’re in Harry Potter, you’d be Dumbledore. You may not always be there when your friends need you, but they can always depend on you to shed some light on their workplace dilemma or this new guy that they’re dating.
Cons: You hate last-minute plans, so you’re never that friend whom people call up on the day itself for some “I-had-a-sh*tty-day-at-work-and-I-need-a-drink” drinks. If your friends want to see you, they have to book you a week in advance.
How to make up for it: Your close friends should know by now that you’re not the type of person who needs to go for weekly brunches with the girls. They should also be aware that you hate long phone conversations. But thank goodness we live in a time where WhatsApp exists, right? You may be emotionally unavailable, but make sure you still check in on your friends now and then by dropping them a simple text.
Pros: You never say “no” to your friends, and that has resulted in some of the most epic experiences of their lives.
Cons: “You used to call me on your cellphone, late night when you need my love,” sings Drake on “Hotline Bling”, and your friends probably feel the same way too, because you’re never the one to initiate a meet up unless you really, really have a reason to.
How to make up for it: Don’t treat your friends like a booty call! OK, we get that you’re an introvert, but that doesn’t give you the license to be an a-hole. It may not be your style to ask people to hang out, but it won’t hurt to drop your friend a text every now and then, even if it’s just a photo of a really, really, fat cat.
Pros: In your friend group, you’re probably the overachieving one. Your friends enjoy having you around because you always know how to make a conversation interesting.
Cons: Your personality can be a little intense. And you can be cocky to a point where sometimes your friends wonder why they stay friends with you.
How to make up for it: By virtue of being system thinkers, INTJs are impersonal in their approach,” observes Dazzling. “However, you can be more genial by tapping into your underlying warmth. Use your heart instead of your head to relate.” We’d also like to add that it’s also best you try not to snigger when your friend tells you that she now screens all her dates by how compatible their horoscope signs are.
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Pros: Often, you’re the push that your friends need to make a change. Whether it is getting them to quit on their sh*tty boss or breaking up with their d*ck of a boyfriend, you’re all about that tough love but your intentions are all good.
Cons: While your bossy traits are good for times where no one can decide on a place to eat, you have a tendency to snap at your friends due to your impatience. Also, because you love to dish out tough love, sometimes people might see you as the bad guy.
How to make up for it: “ENTJs are natural-born leaders. Except that when taken to the extreme, they’ll look over their shoulder and realise that nobody’s there. Treat your friends with more love and everyone will stay,” says Dazzling.
Pros: You are the life of the party and you know it. You’re probably the Serena van der Woodsen in your friend group – bubbly, full of life, and always getting your friends into some sort of trouble, but they love you for it anyway.
Cons: You can be a little bit of a hot mess, so your friends can either only take you in small dosages or they can feel like they’ve outgrown you and try to cut you out of their lives. Uh-oh.
How to make up for it: So you’re not exactly that super stable friend that people turn to for support, and that’s OK! You aren’t exactly equipped to dish out advice, but you can always be supportive in other ways – like taking your friends out to party so that they temporarily forget about what’s troubling them. Just take care to not overdo it.
Pros: You give out a lot of positive energy, so people are drawn towards you. Friends like to go to you for pep talks because you’re basically beaming sunshine and positivity.
Cons: As much as you’d like to lend a listening ear, you find yourself drifting off when your friends tell you about their problems – or worse, you cut them off halfway because you can’t stand it when they rant.
How to make up for it: Dazzling describes an ENFP’s mind as like “a scene straight out of Fast & Furious.” Try to be mindfully present. If not, ask your friends to text you a summary of their woes so you can crunch out an insightful advisory report along with the invoice to bill them,” she advises.
Pros: Unlike the ENFP, you’re a super good listener. Amongst your group of friends, you’re probably the peacemaker whenever a conflict arises. You’re also very easygoing, which makes people want to hang out with you all the more.
Cons: You can be a very private person, and because you’d rather listen than talk, sometimes you forget to update your friends on what’s going on with you. The result? Your friends are a little miffed that you’re doing a month-long backpacking trip around Europe without saying bye.
How to make up for it: “INFPs care so much that they even feel bad about tearing the little heads off animal crackers,” says Dazzling. But remember, “sharing about your life and feelings puts you at risk of getting hurt but open communication deepens friendships.”
Pros: You’re a team player, so you don’t mind making compromises for the sake of the friendship. In fact, you often go out of your way just to help a friend out.
Cons: One word: hipster. You’re the epitome of cool and your friends respect your uncanny ability to sniff out the next big thing three months before everybody else, but if they were to be completely honest, you can be a little pretentious and insufferable at times.
How to make up for it: Don’t worry, Dazzling understands where you’re coming from. “Driven by their senses and aesthetics, ISFPs like beauty. Don’t shortchange yourself by confining it to your exterior; spend more time connecting rather than impressing because you have such a heart for people.”
Pros: Highly-sociable and extremely generous with both their time and possessions, ESFPs are super fun people to hang out with. You can make even the most socially awkward person alive, feel welcomed.
Cons: You don’t like to do things that doesn’t involve a good time, so you can get flaky when your friends include you in serious activities like planning for weddings or moving house.
How to make up for it: Dazzling knows that “ESFPs love to ‘YOLO’ and that it’s tough for them to deal with the mundane stuff”. Her advice: “Following your fun may rock but make the conscious effort to drop everything for your friends when they need you.”
Pros: If the ISTJ is the super responsible one, then the ESTJ is that friend who keeps everyone else in check. You’re the voice of reason for your group, and your pals know that they need to turn it down a notch when they see your look of disapproval.
Cons: You follow the rules a little too rigidly, and you’re known to chide your less, erh, law-abiding friends. If you’re not careful you may even overstep your boundaries by imposing your own beliefs on others.
How to make up for it: “Directness is praiseworthy, but the ESTJ can tweak the approach,” says Dazzling. She suggests starting off with “What do you think of…” whenever you feel the need to say something, and explore the alternatives with your friends from there. And, for goodness’ sake, never tell them “I told you so” even if you really feel like it.
Pros: You’re that friend who will make all the restaurant reservations, draw up the itinerary for that overseas trip, and show up 10 minutes early for every meet up. Heck, you’d even help your hot mess of a friend file her taxes if she asked.
Cons: You believe that honesty is the best policy, so you’re prone to telling your friend that her new haircut looks terrible or that you think her relationship with the new squeeze is not gonna last.
How to make up for it: No way around it – suck it up, apologise immediately when you’ve realised that you were being a tad too truthful, and continue being the extra helpful and responsible friend that you’ve always been.
Pros: Friends love you for your unwavering loyalty, and they know that you’ll always have their back no matter what. They also always go to you for help because you get sh*t done.
Cons: You don’t like it when things don’t go your way, so you occasionally throw hissy fits at your friends for not wanting to hang out or go on this holiday together or whatever else that you want to do.
How to make up for it: “A storm looms in a teacup only when ISTPs are under a great deal of stress. You’re usually objective, so when that happens, take a step back to regain your equilibrium,” says Dazzling. In other words: treat yo’self when the going gets tough and all will be fine.
Pros: You play the supporting role very well and you’re never jealous if your friend is in the spotlight all the time.
Cons: You can be a little clingy at times, and you find yourself panicking whenever your friend doesn’t reply your text after two hours, max.
How to make up for it: People would use the word “high-strung” to describe you. Before you get upset at your friend for not replying your texts immediately, remind yourself that friendship works on a give and take basis. And besides, your personality works as a great litmus test – those who are truly worth your friendship would learn how to deal when you’re being overly attached.
Pros: Your friends know that they can count on you to give them a place to stay or lend them some money when things get really bad. And since you’re such a nice person, they can go to you with their deepest darkest secrets knowing that you will never judge them.
Cons: The ESFJ does not take well to criticism, so if you’re friends with types who like to dole out some tough love, well, things are bound to get a little awkward sometimes. You also expect your friends to be as committed as you to the friendship, so if they fail to do their part as a friend you’d drop them faster than they can explain for themselves.
How to make up for it: Most introverts would find it hard to stay friends with you due to your expectations. Dazzling suggests you take a chill pill and remember that “less is more for you when it comes to caring and sharing”. After all, your kind is “famed for claiming the unused word quota of the more silent types”.
Pros: You’re a friendly, well-meaning and uncomplicated friend, which means there’s no drama with you around – just genuine fun.
Cons: You can come off as a little attention-seeking, which may cause some conflict between you and your friends.
How to make up for it: You’re not a self-centred person, but sometimes you just hog all the attention without even realising. Try to be aware of that and share the spotlight with your friends. So if you end up dancing on the podium at Zouk, remember to drag your friends up with you! And intersperse your OOTDs with wefies, so they know that it’s not just all about you, but also about being besties with your pals.
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